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Motion System

Part 1 - Discovery


In July 2002, 3 x McFadden 310A Motion Systems were aquired. Each system has a nominal lift weight of 2000lbs in 3 axis (Roll, Pitch and Heave).

Some closeup pictures of the platforms.

The Pump and electrical junction box

The Motion Controller

The specifications:

17inch stroke cylinders
480VAC 3 phase 50amps 60hZ for Aussie power
20 horse motor
60 gallon hydraulic res.
5 gallon accumulators
Nitrogen backup tank
oil/air heat exchanger
limit switches
Emergency abort circuit designed so that it will not reach any unsafe, or unstable condition.

Nominal performance based on 2000lb load

750 in-lbs-sec-sec (pitch)
750 in-lbs-sec-sec (roll)
Dynamic platform excursion:
Pitch +/-20 degrees (min)
Roll +/-20 degrees (min)
Vertical +/-7 inches (min)
Dynamic platform Velocities:
(ramp command)
Pitch +/-30 degrees/sec
Roll +/-30 degrees/sec
Vertical +/-21 inches/sec
Dynamic platform Accelerations:
(step command)
Pitch +/-90 degrees/sec/sec
Roll +/-90 degrees/sec/sec
Vertical +/-.5 g
Dynamic platform Accelerations onset:
(step command)
Pitch +/-300 degrees/sec/sec/sec
Roll +/-300 degrees/sec/sec/sec
Vertical +/-20 g/sec


In January 2005, one of the Motion Systems was installed. A room was specially constructed to house the pump and the platform was bolted to the floor.


In June 2006, the installation of the platform was finished and the testing began.
Below are some video's of the platform in a test pattern.

Video 1:
Platform in Heave Test Mode (300k)

Video 2:
Platform in Roll and Pitch Test Mode (250k)

Video 3:
Platform in High Frequency Heave Test (200k)

Video 4:
Platform in Pitch Test (270k)
Video 5:
Platform in Roll Test (360k)
Video 6:
Platform in High Frequency Pitch and Roll Test (230k)

Video 7:
Platform in Settle Mode (540k)

Video 8:
All Videos in One. (2.5mb)


On March 3, 2006 the motion platform took its first flight using the data feed from PS1.

Below is a short video of the first landing with motion.

Hint: You are looking at the front of the aircraft.

The first landing
(4 meg)


It was decided that the best way to test the motion was to physically sit on the platform whilst it was moving.
An old car seat was found and a frame welded up to allow a person to sit and fly the platform.

The seat, monitor, yoke and keyboard were bolted to the frame and then the seatbelt attached.


The First Flight - March 21, 2006

After months of testing and tweaking, Matt finally gets taken for a ride.

The crash test discs were not really necessary, but they added to the atmosphere. The hardhat was necessary as the clearance between Matt and the ceiling wasn't that great.